London, Sept. 5 (CNA) Ten Taiwanese universities have been included in the world's top 500 universities list for 2011 by the United Kingdom-based QS education network, with National Taiwan University (NTU) leaping seven notches from last year to 87th.
It is the best performance ever achieved by NTU -- the only institute from Taiwan to get into the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings.
"A ranking gain of seven places may not seem like much on the overall map, but in the top 100, it's a significant step forward," Ben Sowter, head of the QS Intelligence Unit, told CNA.
NTU's ranking was pushed up mainly by the high prestige it enjoys at the international level, Sowter said, pointing out that the university has been placed 38th in terms of is academic reputation this year and within the top 100 in terms of its reputation among employers.
The other nine Taiwanese universities on the list are National Tsing Hua University (213th), National Cheng Kung University (285th), National Yang Ming University (302nd), National Chiao Tung University (306th), and Taipei Medical University (373rd).
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, National Central University, and National Sun Yat-sen University were ranked somewhere between 401st and 450th.
The top 400 schools were ranked individually in the survey but the next 100 were bunched together and not given specific rankings.
The QS rankings are based on four key pillars: research, teaching, employability and internationalization. Six indicators are used for measurement -- academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty to student ratio, citation per faculty, proportion of international students, and proportion of international faculty.
According to Sowter, a total of 712 universities worldwide were evaluated this year, which is the highest number since the rankings were launched in 2004.
Taking the top two spots are University of Cambridge and Harvard University, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University and University of Oxford.
Rounding out the top 10 are Imperial College London, University College London, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.
Among universities from Asia, University of Hong Kong performed the best in 22nd, with University of Tokyo at 25th and National University of Singapore at 28th.
Three Chinese universities are in the top 100: Peking University (46th), Tsinghua University (47th), and Fudan University (91st).
(By Jennifer Huang and Y.F. Low) ENDITEM/J